The evening I learned the unspoken truth about the cocoa market I was in Yamoussoukro, the colossal capital city of Cote d’Ivoire.

"The problem with cocoa is that’s a poor man’s crop,” explained my dining companion, a government official-turned-businessman. "Do you see any commercial plantation around here? No,” he said. "And do you know why? Because prices aren’t high enough.”

Only because millions of West African farmers saw cocoa as their only way to escape abject poverty, the world had plentiful supply and low prices. As a result, you and I have been enjoying the pleasures of chocolate on the cheap for decades.